Social Influences on Behavior Kowalski and Westen, (2011) “social influence refers to the influence of the presence of other people on thought, feeling, and behavior.” (p. 686). Social influence, regardless from another individual or group of individuals may affect the behavior of individuals but can influence some individuals more than others. Individuals act and behave in particular ways at certain times and in certain places. Whether an individual behaves differently at work and at home, or one behaves like friends, social influences may alter and shape thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (Loop, 2013). In certain social situations individual’s behaviors will change because of obedience and conformity.Obedience Kowalski and Westen, (2011) “obedience is a social influence process whereby individuals follow the dictates of an authority” (p. 694). When obedience occurs individuals act in response to the direct order given by another individual, such as an authority figure. Therefore, this is obedience to authority. In order for an individual to obey authority, the individual has to accept the legitimacy of the command given (McLeod, 2007). The assumption is that without a direct order an individual may not act or behave in such a way. McLeod, (2007) “obedience is a desirable and necessary phenomenon and without obedience to authority individuals and society may not function” (p. 1). Cardwell (2005), “Stanley Milgram’s study of obedience remains one of the most iconic experiments in social psychology” (p. 1). Milgram’s experiments demonstrated the power of obedience, and demonstrated that individuals have a tendency of following direct orders of an authority figures (McLeod, 2007). Milgram’s experiment also demonstrated that individuals upon direct orders would give helpless individuals electric shocks without questioning the authority figure in command. Milgram’s experiments did not exactly prove that authority is…

Social Influences on Behavior